Let’s be real. Winter can knock your socks off and throw off even the most well intentioned plans of maintaining any form of self-care.
Even if you are somewhat fond of the crisp cool air, things can feel more difficult on colder, darker, wintery days. Some of us feel it more than others. We tend towards cozying indoors, cuddling up with less activity, a little (or a lot) more snacking, and skimping on the self-care. Skin could be dry, lips chapped, pounds up and moods down. You get the picture. However, we just can’t check into hibernation mode like bears.
If you’re like me, you’re looking forward to the spring time warmth and looking at it as an opportunity to grow along with the greenery outside. It’s time to start putting back those self-caring rituals that were abandoned through the winter.
Here are 7 simple and easily implementable steps to shake the winter from your bones and welcome spring with your best foot forward. I’ve even added in a *super easy* option where available, so that you’ll be left with no excuses for why you can’t pull your self-care off the couch and spring it into practice.
- Drink a celery juice daily for a week (or longer)- Make your own celery juice by adding 5 stalks of celery and 1/2 fresh lemon into your juicer. A decent juicer (like the Breville) costs as low as $120. If investing in a juicer is not ideal, visit your local health food store or a Whole Foods and have them make one for you. Studies show that celery juice can reduce inflammation and boost cardiovascular health. The perfect antidote for rebooting out of flu season. Celery is also easy to juice, inexpensive to buy, and the stalks have a great shelf-life in your fridge so you can stock up. Finally the *super easy* option: drive to Trader Joe’s and stock up for the week on their already bottled cold pressed green juice (with super fabulous clean ingredients of kale, spinach, apple, cuke, celery, lemon and ginger) for only $3.99.
- Get outside daily Dress weather appropriately and get your butt outside. You can find 15 minutes to move your body. One strategy I have used is to set my phone timer for 8 minutes and walk. Once the timer goes off, I turn around and try to make it back in 7 min! Shaving a minute off is a fun way to hold me accountable for a “brisk” walk. Check out the trees and breathe deeply. Take some inspiration from Albert Einstein who said, “Look deeply into nature and you will understand everything better.” If you’re doubting that 15 minutes could matter, scientific research suggests that even a small amount of exercise – like that 15 minutes a day – could lower your risk of depression.
- Breathe lavender nightly – Helping you relax and fall into a restful sleep, lavender has been found to help increase slow wave sleep, slowing heartbeat and relaxing muscles. Its soothing and calming properties reduce stress making its use a perfect bed time enhancer. Simply add 5 drops of lavender to a diffuser and turn it on when you get into bed. The *super easy* option: put 2 drops of lavender into your hand, rub your hands together, cup your hands around your nose and inhale (be sure to use a top grade essential oil).
- Put your feet first (at least) twice a month – Reflexology, pedicures … ahhh!!! Book the appointments. The *super easy* option: do it yourself by taking a small pail or tub filled 1/2 way with warm water. Adding in 1/2 cup Epson salt, 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 3 drops of frankincense or lavender essential oil and your feet and you’ve got a luscious treat!
- Close your kitchen by 7 pm on weekdays – Closing down the kitchen at 7pm is simple and super effective way to reduce unnecessary caloric intake. The after dinner snacking and picking adds up, potential an upwards of 200-500 extra calories a day. Snacking can become ever more mindless when we are distracted by the latest Netflix saga. If you stop the mindless evening snacking, you’ll be shocked at how those uncomfortable pounds fall away. Your body will also appreciate not having to work overtime to digest food while it’s shutting down for the night.
- Say grace before every meal daily – Regardless of your practicing faith, we can all agree that two or three words silent words of gratitude or a heartfelt prayer prior to eating can help improve your mental space. This serves as a daily reminder of how blessed you are to have food to eat as well as a loving send off to the food you take into your body.
- Take fifteen minutes of “You time” daily – “You time” can look different to everyone. It can look like drawing, doodling, listening to your favorite music, reading a book, or even sitting in silence. You choose! However, do something that has no obligation to work or family – just for you. Give yourself the space to just be free.
Hopefully, you are able to commit or re-commit to some or all of these things on a consistent basis. You will feel amazingly better bringing your new habits into the new season. Use this as a reminder that with most of the winter in our rearview, it’s a great time to reinvest in practices of self-care.
Rosie Battista, Sleeping Naked After 40, is a Life Stylist/Coach helping mid-life women create a new lifestyle that works for their new stage (age) in life. Allowing them to live the best years of their life in the best of health, peace and joy.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Instagram @rosie.battista